"rndc reconfig" vs. "rndc reload"

Mark Pettit pettit at yahoo-inc.com
Fri Mar 16 08:10:32 UTC 2012

I've read carefully through the BIND ARM and am still not sure of the answer to this, so I figured I'd ask on here.

"rndc reconfig" causes BIND to re-load its config file, but unlike "rndc reload", BIND will not scan the zone files it's mastering to see if there have been any updates.  This is very useful in our situation because most of our name servers have tens of thousands of zones.

We have an antiquated push process that copies files into the zonefile directory and then tells BIND "rndc reload".  For various reasons, "rndc reload" takes about 120 seconds to complete.  BIND is not answering queries for a very large part of that time.

I recently started experimenting with a different process: instead of "rndc reload" after updaing some of the zone files, I loop through the list of updated zone files and run "rndc reload <zone>" for each one.

This is a vast improvement, because BIND doesn't appear to ever stop answering queries.

However, I'm curious what I should do when an update contains both a new config file and new zone files.

Normally a "rndc reload" would rescan the config and then scan all zone files (including the new ones), loading the new ones into memory and starting to serve them.  But obviously we want to avoid "rndc reload" at all costs.

I was considering doing "rndc reconfig", followed by a "rndc reload <zone>" for each of the new zones.

Would this work?

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